Streetlights switch off saves cash

Street lighting
Street lighting

Three in four councils across England are switching off or dimming street lights to save money.

The Labour party has said that large parts of the country were being “plunged into darkness” as a result of cuts in government funding.

In Nottinghamshire, lights were turned off or dimmed until this policy was reversed in September 2013.

Research by the party found that 50 councils were switching off some streetlights, 56 were dimming lights, 42 councils were dimming some and switching off some. Only 35 councils out of 141 are doing neither.

But when Labour won control of the council last May, the party said they would switch on street lights in areas where residents requested it. The cost of returning them all to full-night lighting will be in the region of £110,000, with a loss of £80,000 a year in energy saving, but the council says the project is still forecast to save £700,000 by 2016-17.

The move is opposed by motoring groups, with the AA saying it has contributed to car crashes. But the Campaign to Protect Rural England has previously called for more councils to dim lights to reduce light pollution.

Last week ministers said English councils would face an average cut of 1.8 per cent in their overall spending power next year.